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The industrial food system, from production to consumption and waste, is a major contributor to environmental, social and economic problems. A few powerful multinational corporations have consolidated control of agricultural markets and wealth while many farmers struggle to make a living and millions of people go hungry every day. Consumer access to healthy and culturally appropriate food remains largely an option for only those who can afford it.
Responding to these destructive practices, global agrarian movements are calling for a transition to agroecology. Agroecological farming follows ecological principles for growing food in a way that respects diverse sociocultural contexts, connects urban eaters and rural growers and attends to power dynamics.
Growing and Eating Sustainably shines light on the process of agroecological transition by showcasing the experiences of growers and eaters in southern Brazil, a country where agrarian movements have long been at the forefront of pushing for more sustainable and just food systems. Through stories and photographs of people, landscapes, farms and farming practices, and urban spaces, this book communicates how to advance systems-level agroecological transitions by linking rural and urban areas and connecting diverse agroecological experiences.
“An engaging blend of the practical and the political. Whether you’re farming at an industrial scale, feeling trapped by input prices and wanting to dream a little about what positive change could look like, an eater who wants an accessible peek into what makes a food system, a community activist looking for food-systems related ideas, or a policy analyst interested in bringing more fairness to agricultural policy … this book has something for everybody!”
— Katie Ward, President of the National Farmers Union
“In times of crisis, uncertainty and irrationality, there is nothing better than a book “upwards,” full of light and life. This book presents why industrial agriculture has become obsolete and presents experiences of how real and effective alternatives are being produced through agroecology in Brazil. A pleasant, delightful and straightforward reading, which makes the reader travel through thoughts to imagine how the interaction between people and nature produces rural landscapes and a food culture.”
— Sergio Schneider, Rural Development/Food Studies, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
“‘Growing and Eating Sustainably’ presents a creative and refreshing delivery representing the core of the agroecological ethos. It puts the voices of the people practicing agroecology, daily, as front and center. Through their stories we get to learn how agroecology is lived and implemented. In addition, the extensive use of photography and accessible language facilitates its use by a wide diversity of readers. This book represents a creative and important contribution to anyone doing education and implementing agroecology as a transformative approach.”
— V. Ernesto Méndez, Professor of Agroecology and Environmental Studies, University of Vermont